"Every planet has its own weird customs. About a year before we met, I spent six weeks on a moon where the principal form of recreation was juggling geese. My hand to God. Baby geese - goslings! They were juggled."

Friday, December 31, 2010


Following up on the Ecuador volcanoes post, my friend from graduate school recommended I get in contact with the folks at the Instituto GeofĂ­sico regarding possible volunteer time at the volcano observatories. I did, and almost immediately got a response asking me to call when I'm in Quito and set up some time to visit and help at the OVT, the Tungurahua observatory! Tungurahua is the very active volcano I mentioned a couple posts back, you know, this one:

Photo: Patricio Realpe (from Yahoo! News) on 5 December 2010

Very excited to get involved with that! But it might be a while - we have to get through training, in-country placement, etc., and vacation days are scarce.

I spent most of yesterday hunting down student loan deferment forms. For all those curious, make sure you get the 'Economic Hardship Deferment Request' form (haha, I know, good joke) for Peace Corps service IF your loans were made on or after 1 July 1993. Only use the 'Public Service Deferment Request' form if your loans are from before 1 July 1993. It defers Federal loans for up to three years and I guess I need to submit one to both my non-Perkins loan lenders. I also got deep into reading about Federal Consolidation loans and am considering doing this on Monday (even though processing times are 60-90 days). I need to be 100% sure it can be deferred for Peace Corps service - anyone out there have experience with this?

WOW that was boring, horray finances!

I also made lists of what other money-related chores I have before I go: pay my govolcano.net bill ($200 a year, ouch!), pay the $300+ of the first month of my federal loans that aren't deferred, drop most of my car insurance (keeping acts of nature insurance), get information for PC to pay my private loan from my readjustment fund, etc. etc.

And to wrap up, a really cool video of Tungurahua time lapsed over one night into two minutes by Benjamin Bernard:

oops. It embeds but doesn't play. Click on the link for a couple great videos :)

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